Our first sauna for this year was founded in Berlin-Pankow in 2001, but has lately been in the local newspaper headlines due to a danger of needing to close their business –apparently their landlord has some better plans for the premises. Luckily, at least for the time being, we are still able to visit Saunarivm.
Saunarivm is designed in the kitschy style of a Roman temple (all the way to their name) and has a Finnish sauna, a Tepidarium (60° C) and a Dampfbad. There is also a restaurant with a lot of seating space, and two separate outdoor areas.
We arrived at six in the evening, switched to our sauna gear and checked the Aufgussplan: menthol Aufguss at 18:30, and another one right after at 19 sharp. Quite a tight schedule, but we would at least try to attend both.
Turned out though that the menthol Aufguss was merely the Saunameister putting a bunch of ice cubes on the rocks, freeing up a mentholy, eye-stinging scent to the room.
The seven o’clock Aufguss wasn’t strictly traditional either: four steam rounds with a meditation theme. The setting for the meditation was a sound from a small gong-like instrument after each round of steam, and it was up to each participant how to reach for their inner zen. Four Aufguss rounds proved pretty tough for us, and we were happy to escape once it was over.
The rest of the hourly Aufgusses were of more traditional nature, three rounds with various scents. The ritual was performed skilfully each time. No complaints. The Aufgusses today were definitely on the hotter side, even to the extent that we decided not to sit on the highest seat during the two last ones.
Despite being one of the larger ones around, the sauna room was packed full during each Saunameister visit until 21. One has to be at least five minutes early to get a seating of their liking, or wait for the summer when Germans always inexplicably pause their sauna visits.
This sauna is directly under the plane descent path to Tegel airport. It depends completely on you if you’ll find this a prime opportunity for airplane spotting or a nuisance disturbing your cool-down meditation. In any case, if Saunarivm manages to stay open, the noise will go away as soon as Tegel closes later this year (if it does – Berlin airports tend to disregard all schedules).
- A rather large Finnish sauna with a very nice Aufguss
- Roomy restaurant and outdoor areas
- Friendly personnel
- Aufgusses tend to be a bit crowded
- Kitschy style may offend your sensibilities
A bit more spacious than your average Berlin Kiezsauna, with very enjoyable hourly Aufgusses. Saunamafia recommends!